Is the Digital SAT Easier or Harder Than the Paper Version?

Why Is the College Board Making the SAT Digital? 

The College Board is making the SAT digital to modernize the test-taking experience and align it with the way students learn and work today. The shift to digital will provide more opportunities for students to take the test, enhance accessibility for students with disabilities, and allow for faster score reporting. Additionally, the digital format will allow for more innovative and interactive test questions that better assess students' knowledge and skills.

What’s Changing With the Digital SAT? 

The College Board is planning to launch a digital version of the SAT in 2024. The digital SAT will be administered on a computer rather than on paper and will have some changes compared to the paper-based SAT. Some of the key changes include:

Section Order

Test takers will be able to customize the order of the sections, allowing them to take the sections they are most comfortable with first.

Fewer Questions

The digital SAT will have fewer questions than the paper-based version, with a total of 80 questions as compared to 154 questions.

No Penalty for Wrong Answers

There will be no penalty for wrong answers on the digital SAT, which is a departure from the current SAT, where incorrect answers lead to a deduction of a quarter of a point.

Digital Format

The test will be delivered on a computer with a variety of question types, including multiple choice, drag and drop, and fill-in-the-blank.

Immediate Score Reports

Test-takers will receive their scores immediately after completing the digital SAT, eliminating the wait time that is associated with the paper-based SAT.

It is worth noting that while the format and some of the content will be changing with the digital SAT, the fundamental skills that are tested on the exam will remain the same.

Is the Digital SAT Easier?

It's difficult to definitively say whether the digital SAT is easier or not as it largely depends on the individual test-taker's preferences and strengths. Some students may find the digital format more intuitive and easier to navigate, while others may prefer the traditional paper-and-pencil format. Additionally, the content and difficulty level of the exam will remain the same, regardless of the format in which it is taken. It's important for students to prepare thoroughly and become familiar with the digital format in order to perform their best on the exam.

How To Study for the Digital SAT

Preparing for the digital SAT is similar to preparing for the paper-based version, with a few additional considerations. Here are some tips to help you study for the digital SAT:

Familiarize yourself with the format

Practice taking tests on a computer or tablet to get used to the digital format. You can also use College Board's official digital SAT practice tests to get a sense of the experience.

Focus on time management

Time management is even more critical on the digital SAT. You will have to navigate through questions and scroll through passages, which can take up extra time. Practice taking practice tests with a timer to help you pace yourself.

Practice typing and writing essays

The digital SAT requires you to type your essays, so it's essential to practice typing and writing essays using a computer or tablet. You can also use the College Board's official practice tests to get used to the digital format of the essay section.

Learn the tools and features

The digital SAT has several tools and features that you can use to help you take the test, such as the ability to highlight and cross out text. Learn how to use these tools by practicing with official practice tests.

Review the content

Finally, don't forget to review the content of the test. The digital SAT covers the same content as the paper-based version, so make sure you are familiar with the material by using study guides and practice tests.

By following these tips, you can prepare yourself for success on the digital SAT


The SAT is transitioning from a paper-based format to a digital format in 2023. This change will bring new features and changes to the test-taking experience, including digital scratch paper and a new question type called "multi-select." Whether the digital SAT is easier or harder than the paper version is subjective and depends on individual preferences and testing abilities. However, there are several tips that can help students prepare for the digital SAT, such as taking practice tests online, using digital scratch paper, and practicing with new question types.